Gallery 16 is happy to announce two concurrent solo exhibitions with artists David Hytone and Nathaniel Parsons. This is the second solo exhibition for both artists at the gallery.
David Hytone constructs his work from hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individual pieces of hand-painted paper. He uses a myriad of processes to make his source material, like glass-plate dry paint transfer and crude monoprint techniques. These techniques are used to create imagery on paper that is then cut and assembled over panel in a collage process. His compositions straddle a line between abstraction and representation. He renders the world around us essentially as a facade or something akin to a shifting theater set.
“I find that I get more interesting answers, and certainly more honest ones, if I don’t try to ask every painting the same set of questions. It is this nature of inquiry that I hope to pass on to the viewer… I am not seeking to illustrate that which intrigues me, only to reveal my rather absurd path of inquiry,” he writes.
“A few years back I began to create a new body of work that led to an examination of human frailty, and the mechanisms we employ to cope and compensate for our failings, imagined and otherwise. It is important to emphasize that my work is not necessarily about these ideas as much as these are questions that present themselves to me through art-making.”
The Big Whittle is our second exhibition with Nathaniel Parsons. His work has roots in folk art, narrative painting, wood carving, and a community-building social practice. He is known for drawing heavily from rural Americana, outsider artwork, and naturalist writing. Found and scavenged materials are regularly employed, as the artist favors those that have a well-worn history. Parsons values the embedded history within each element, seeing this choice as a process of building upon history, rather than creating autonomous objects without a past. Previous projects have involved visitors taking walks with the artist while he works or creating public picnic tables that are carved as a community project. Generosity, friendship and shared vision guide his projects and viewers are able to see themselves in the creation of Parsons’s distinct works.
“When does a story get to be a tall tale, how is a moral born, and if the artist has a desire to consider all that, when and where does it become relevant?” — Nathaniel Parsons
About the artist: Nathaniel Parsons was raised in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, among a family of artists. He graduated with a BFA from California College of the Arts (Oakland) in 1993 and with an MFA from the University of Iowa with a concentration in painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and performance. His art practice explores themes of alter egos, visiting parks, shared authorship, and storytelling. As an observational artist, he chooses to work on projects, new, worn and carved from what appears needed to get the job done. Paintings are made on surfaces where some element comes from a found source, stretcher bars, milled wood, cut offs. There is a continual effort to reach Point Sublime. He’s sung songs in a band called Little My, playing shows and making souvenirs for the audience. He has shown projects nationally in Memphis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Oakland and Cleveland and internationally in The Republic of Macedonia. He lives and works in Oakland California.